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Trump aide in frequent contact with Russia envoy, source says

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    National Security Adviser-designate Michael T. Flynn waited for an elevator in the lobby at Trump Tower in New York on Dec. 12.

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak, spoke with reporters in Washington in Sept. 2013. The Obama administration is aware of frequent contacts between President-elect Donald Trump’s top national security adviser Michael Flynn and Russia’s ambassador to the United States, including on the day President Barack Obama hit Moscow with sanctions in retaliation for election-related hacking, a senior U.S. official said today.

WASHINGTON >> The Obama administration is aware of frequent contacts between President-elect Donald Trump’s national security adviser Michael Flynn and Russia’s ambassador to the United States, including on the day President Barack Obama hit Moscow with sanctions in retaliation for election-related hacking, a senior U.S. official said today.

One day after Obama announced the sanctions and expelled dozens of Russian officials from the U.S., Russian President Vladimir Putin said he did not plan to retaliate. President-elect Trump, who has been complimentary of Putin, praised the Russian leader’s decision.

It’s not unusual for incoming administrations to have discussions with foreign governments before taking office. But the multiple contacts on Dec. 29 — the day Obama imposed sanctions — would raise questions about whether Trump’s team discussed Russia’s response.

Trump transition spokesman Sean Spicer said Flynn and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak spoke on the phone around the time of the sanctions announcement, although Spicer said the conversation happened a day earlier, on Dec. 28.

“The call centered around the logistics of setting up a call with the president of Russia and the president-elect after he was sworn in, and they exchanged logistical information on how to initiate and schedule that call,” Spicer told reporters today. “That was it, plain and simple.”

Trump has repeatedly called for improving U.S. relations with Russia, which deteriorated under the Obama administration. During a news conference Wednesday, Trump said, “If Putin likes Donald Trump, I consider that an asset, not a liability, because we have a horrible relationship with Russia.”

Flynn’s contacts with the Russian ambassador were first reported by Washington Post columnist David Ignatius. The official who spoke to The Associated Press was not authorized to confirm the contacts publicly and insisted on anonymity.

The official said Flynn and Kislyak have also been in contact at other times.

Spicer said they exchanged Christmas greetings via text over the holidays.

It’s unclear how U.S. officials became aware of the contacts between Flynn and Kislyak, who has served as Russia’s envoy to the U.S. since 2008. U.S. monitoring of Russian officials’ communication within the United States is known to be common.

Flynn has spoken with other foreign officials since Trump won the November election, as have incoming White House senior advisers Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law.

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  • So what was the point of this article. “It’s not unusual for incoming administrations to have discussions with foreign governments before taking office.” by the headline you would think that there was something fishy going on, which there isn’t.

    • The WP and the SA are just trying to get the public to think something is wrong with Flynn’s actios when there isn’t. It is too bad Obama has destroy relations with Russia because of his own ego.

    • The rigged election driven by Russia and trump’s weird, treasonous statements bode ill for his presidency. 50/50 chance this guy is impeached before his 4 years are up. He is just so unstable and ignorant.

      • IRT Allie, President elect Donald J. Trump will not get impeached and will serve out his full four years and possibly another four years if he decides to do so. SA and AP are on the edge of providing “Fake News” without verifying if any illegal contact was made an print rumors. Auwe. President elect Trump will expose all the incompetence of Hawaii born President Obama. It’s starting before President elect Trump takes the oath of office.

        • Dirty Knees, since your pal JohnnyRayBobRicey doesn’t want to take on All-Lies, maybe you can hook up with it instead. You can both argue about Trump all you want without bothering the rest of us. All-Lies could be the man you always dream about. It’s down on Kuhio every night.

        • Colluding with Putin and the Russians to win the election, does not make Trump and General Mike Flynn patriots, but traitors

        • What about the fake news by Trump about Obama not being born in this country. The birther movement spread by Trump and all the far right Tea Party for eight years to delegitimize President Obama was fake news and conspiracy theory by the racist in this country. General Mike Flynn and his son also have been spreading and propogating the fake news of Pizzagate, where Hillary Clinton and Democrats were trafficking children. Fake news and conspiracy theories are the stock and trade of Trump, Steve Bannon of Breitbart News, now Trump’s Chief adviser, Fox News, National Enquirer, and other right wing fascist media outlets

    • The article brings attention to the fact that Trump has a seemingly close tie with Putin and Russia. By he way, Russia has been connected with other hacks of US installations such as even a power plant computer which fortunately was not connected to the power grid. The next warfare will be in the computer realm. So any attack on US soil will begin with attacks in the cyber space which Trump seems to dismiss. We are basically opening ourselves to a known enemy which would make their job a whole lot easier. Trump’s past connections with Russia makes him suspect.

      • Agree about the computer war. My biggest concern is that whoever finds a way to dismantle the other guy’s military system that launches the nuclear weapons will definitely “win.” The hacked side will be at the mercy of the hackER. Experts will claim that this is impossible security-wise, but sometimes, I think hackers are smarter than we are, or at least have a lot more time on their hands to do it. Look at all the security breaches we’ve had with guaranteed safe sites.

        • Someone has already been there done that: See documentary “Zero Days” which goes in depth regarding Stuxnet self-replicating computer malware which caused substantial damage to Iran’s nuclear program back in 2010. The Washington Post claimed that the worm was developed by the Bush administration years earlier. More recently in 2015, Kaspersky Lab, the world renowned Russian cyber-security and antivirus provider, discovered another highly sophisticated cyberweapon based on a similar “zero-day” platform dubbed the “Equation Group”. I’m just thinking, if this is common knowledge, just imagine what other types of cyberweapon systems and software have also been developed.

        • I thought I should also add that some speculate that Russian contractors were used to install USB drives containing the Stuxnet malware since Iran’s nuclear centrifuges were completely off the grid/not accessible via the internet. Other malware some say appear to built on the same Stuxnet Tilded platform are “Duqu” discovered on September 1, 2011, a malware worm nearly identical in design to Stuxnet but designed to monitor and capture keystrokes and vital computer system info, which could work in tandem with Stuxnet in enabling a future cyberweapon attack, along with the malware “Flame”, a worm which behaves like Stuxnet, which was discovered the following year in 2012.

    • Read the 35 page report by the British Intelligence Agency MI6. This more than a Trump tweet as fake news. When you read the entire report, you will find in detail and specifics, the coordination of the Trump team and advisers with Kremlin operatives, hackers, and Russian oil giant Rosneft

  • Flynn, who sat at Putin’s table at a dinner celebrating Russia Today, Putin’s propaganda television network, was also involved in spreading the vicious fake news that Hillary Clinton was involved in money laundering and a child sex ring run out of a pizza restaurant. He was also known in the intelligence for what they called “Flynn facts” — pronouncements that were not only not based on research or facts but were also outlandishly preposterous. He is likely to be the reason that James Woolsey abruptly left the Trump transition team. He is also the primary reason that Democrats were willing to agree to a waiver to allow General Mattis to serve as Secretary of Defense — there has to be one sane person in the White House and Mattis might be the one to convince Trump that Flynn is a dangerous madman who commands little respect from other generals. His calls to the Russian ambassador are clearly in violation of the Logan Act.

    • Logan act:
      “with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States,

      Trump staff statement
      “The call centered around the logistics of setting up a call with the president of Russia and the president-elect after he was sworn in, and they exchanged logistical information on how to initiate and schedule that call,” Spicer told reporters

      Your statement of “clearly in violation of the Logan act” appears to be incorrect.

      • There were multiple calls, not a “call”. I have no doubt the NSA has voice recordings of these calls — as indeed it should, anytime a private citizen calls anyone in the Kremlin.

        Trump will think twice before engaging in another round of disrespecting America’s intelligence agencies. Unfortunately, it’s too late for him to slam the lid on Pandora’s box.

      • You’re accepting the cover story offered by a Trump administration that is packed with Putin loyalists like Manafort and Carter Page. Trump’s ludicrous defense against allegations that he has been comprised by Russian intelligence service was to cite a statement by Putin press secretary saying that the stories are inaccurate. He really did that. Think about it. An American President-elect defends himself against charges of being compromised and behaving as an agent of Russia by saying that the American public should accept denials issued by Russia!

        • Trump is our next President and will do a really good job. He has selected the best people to assist him. Some people can not just go quietly.

        • Imagine what Sarge and the other Trumpettes would have said if these had been equivalent reports of treason by Obama. They’d be demanding impeachment and “lock him up!”

          Why no criticism of Russia, Trump or his pro-Russian staff?

          Maybe they are Russian trolls. How would we know? They only seem to comment on stories about Chump’s erratic, obnoxious and unethical behavior, with little to no interest in local stories?

          Whatever the reason, there is stink smell all around the filthy Orange Dumpster.

    • “Putin’s propaganda television network, was also involved in spreading the vicious fake news that Hillary Clinton was involved in money laundering and a child sex ring run out of a pizza restaurant”

      From what I read, this started with an American tweet, and spread through various web sites and blogs.
      If by “involved in spreading” you mean that they reported it, then I suppose they were, but along with everyone else reporting it including the American Newspapers etc.

      • You fail to look at the facts. Fake news were used by Trump’s campaign to help them win the election. It’s already a known fact. All the details of how they did it are just a distraction. The fac is they paid unscrupulous people to do the salacious deed.

      • Cricket, General Mike Flynn and his son were propagating the fake news propaganda of Clinton’s money laundering and her child sex ring, the Pizzagate conspiracy. Mike Flynn is not to be trusted. He is working with Putin, Trump and Exxon Mobil to lift the western oil trade sanctions against Russia, so they can dominate the oil and gas market, and make huge profits for themselves. It’s a setup.

        • This is clearly possible.

          This Dumpster reeks more and more, and it’s going to be hard to cover it up.

    • You just BS’d your own BS.
      This is the problem-between fake news and paranoia we put ourselves in the way of thinking.

      I definitely think its a good thing that Trump is playing up to Putin.
      Peace is ALWAYS better than war.

      • “Peace is ALWAYS better than war.”

        While true, there will always be a balance of power or balance against threats as some would prefer to call it. So even if Russia and China become our allies, enemies will emerge regardless, as seen since our war on terror. Case in point: The U.S. spends $9.4 million per day on operations against ISIS.

      • Yes, Trump has praised Putin as a strong leader, and a smart man. Guess Trump wants to be like Putin, a dictator, tyrant, totalitarian leader, a one man political party, where no dissent is allowed, all opposition either disappear, imprisoned or assassinated, no freedom of the press and speech, and no civil and human rights, and where the voting is completely rigged by the Russian Intelligence Agencies like the GSB and the FSB. If you would like to live under tyranny, you might want to move to Russia

  • “including on the day President Barack Obama hit Moscow with sanctions in retaliation for election-related hacking”

    Which he did about a week before he got the report concluding they were probably involved.
    A conclusion in which the NSA stated they had “moderate” confidence.

    • “There shouldn’t be any doubt in anybody’s mind,” NSA Director Michael S. Rogers said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday. “This was not something that was done casually, this was not something that was done by chance. This was not a target that was selected purely arbitrarily.” Rogers acknowledged in October that Russians were behind the hacks. Taken from Mother Jones news feed.

    • The government knew that the Russians were involved long before the most recent report was delivered to the President. To suggest that Obama acted without full knowledge of what the intelligence services knew is grossly inaccurate. The FBI and CIA has “high confidence ” in the accuracy of Russia/Trump collaboration; you deceptively don’t mention that when you say that the NSA had “moderate” confidence. The US government has, for good reason, been investigating the Trump/Putin connections since last summer and began providing ongoing updates to the “Gang of Eight” in Congress in September.

  • All this political drama is getting boring, pointless, and feeding the mainstream media. We voted for a President, and that’s that. Simple. I doubt seriously votes were cast based on who sat next to who at a dinner or who received a Christmas card. Get over it, move on, and in 4 years we will have the opportunity again speak with over votes.

    • General Mike Flynn sat next to Putin at the Russian TV dinner in Dec 2015. He must have been making deals with Putin on behalf of Trump. I see it as Putin and Russian influence peddling with the Trump team.

  • The “Flynn flam Man”, makes contact after the diplomats are expelled for an aggressive breach of trust. Don’t say that it’s protocol that a PE make contact with other governments. Russia is not a Japan or Great Britain. FLynn had no business doing this. This arrogance is part of Trumpf’$ persona. He can reach out after Jan.20, or tweet something to quell his ego.

  • While the Lame Street Media (AP, SA) continues to spread fake news, Taiwanese tech giant Hon Hai Precision (aka Foxconn) is negotiating with Trump to bring thousands of jobs to the US. Instead of hunting witches, maybe the AP/SA should focus on reporting the daily annoucements of job creation in the US due to the Trump effect.

    • Fake News is when you make a statement with no basis of factual support. Trump does it nearly every day, and often has to back off from what he says. Kelley Anne Conway was raked over the goals recently for doing the same. And this is a very bright woman. She just adept at the art of spinning, and is being loyal to her boss.

      AP/CNN publish stories based on sources. It’s not Fake News. We need the media to ask the tough questions of the new regime that was voted in to lead our country. I have no problem with the job the mainstream media is doing. If it po’s the PE, then that’s fine. We need him to be a strong and effective leader, which will be a huge challenge going forward.

      • Time magazine published this article:http://time.com/4433880/donald-trump-ties-to-russia/ over three months before the election which spoke of Trumps many connections to Putin and Russian financiers. A week before this article broke, the New York Times in this article:https://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/27/opinion/the-putin-trump-admiration-society.html?_r=0 mentions how Trump has courted Russian politicians for 30 years–dating back to the Cold War when Gorbachev was president of the Soviet Union. Interestingly, this article, besides the possibility of Russia influencing the election, mentions both Putin and Trump’s disdain for NATO which implies that the un-ravelling of NATO could re-establish Russia as a superpower. Cold War Three anyone?

      • To characterize an innocuous phone call about “logistics” with a headline that reads “Trump aide in frequent contact with Russia envoy, source says” is misleading and scaremongering, which is the very nature of fake news. CNN’s decision to report about the dissemination of an unverified dossier is also an example of fake news. While all the other major media outlets opted not to report this story, CNN eagerly chose to headline this “story” with a HUGE 72 point font headline on their website. This election has proven without a doubt how corrupt the MSM is and rags like CNN and buzzfeed should be held accountable.

        • We need to hold accountable rags like Fox News, Breitbart News, the National Enquirer. All right wing mouthpieces of disinformation, falsehoods and conspiracy theories.

        • National Enquirer is a tabloid, not a news agency, but I guess you have to learn to read somewhere. If you can cite a specific instance of misconduct by Fox News, please share. I have one for CNN: sharing confidential presidential debate questions with Hillary Clinton via Donna Brazile, therby directly interfering with a presidential election.

        • You can argue that CNN didn’t need to report on the dissemination of the dossier, but you can’t call it Fake News because CNN had sources who were aware that the information was shared with Obama and, later, Trump. Jim Clapper and Joe Biden both confirmed this happened (I’m assuming because they were present when it took place).

          CNN did not do as Buzzfeed supposedly did, and post the information online because CNN couldn’t verify the veracity of the “compromising” information that Russia alledgedly had on Trump.

        • The way in which CNN presented the news about the unverified, illegitimate dossier (in big bold letters, completely speculative, and blatantly biased) AND the way this AP article is couched (misleading title, no evidence to suggest anything special about this phone call) is in effect fake news. Yes, all the facts are technically correct in both articles but there is an attempt to misinform the public with speculative and suggestive language.

  • Source? What source. allie’s fake news? klastri’s lies? No credibility, zero, nada. More worthless and delineating comments and lies designed to foster hatred and promote communism.

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